ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) has directed all private teaching hospitals to provide 50 per cent of beds to operate free for accommodation and consultation.

The letter issued to all private teaching hospitals by the authority said that in the national healthcare emergency situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, all private teaching hospitals are directed to ensure compliance with their commitments as laid down U/S 17 (6) of The Medical and Dental Institutions Regulations, 2012. “In each teaching hospital fifty percent of the beds shall operate free for accommodation and consultation, while treatment expenses including laboratory services, medicines and supplies, if any, shall be charged on non-profit basis.

It said that in view of above sections, all private teaching hospitals will be inspected for compliance by Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) teams to elucidate the status of compliance with the above commitments and healthcare services standard services standard requirement of COVID-19. Inspections may include scrutiny of your records/files including patient records and financial books.

The hospitals not fulfilling the requirements under the aforesaid section and guidelines shall be penalised in accordance with the rules, which may include de-registration, sealing the premises or fine and/or imprisonment etc. under the Islamabad Healthcare Regulation Act 2018.  Earlier, the IHRA taking strict administrative decisions during novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic directed all private hospitals of the city to publicly display hospital charges and rates of PCR tests.

The letter issued by Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) said that in the national healthcare emergency situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic all private laboratories / collection centres are directed to display R-PCR test rates.This information shall be displayed on the website and prominent places in the labs, especially at reception area.

In view of above, all private laboratories/collection centres will be inspected for compliance by Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) teams to elucidate the status of compliance with the above directives and healthcare services standard requirements of COVID-19.

The private laboratories /collection centres not fulfilling the requirements shall be penalised in accordance with the rules, which may include deregistration, sealing the premises or fine and/ or imprisonment etc., under the Islamabad Healthcare Registration Act2018.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services (NHS) in National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Health briefed the Committee about the current situation of the coronavirus in the country.

He briefed that government had made SOPs to stop the spread of COVID-19 under National Command and Control Center and also ensure the enforcement of those SOPs through local administration.

He further said that due to current economic situation, it is impossible to implement complete lockdown in the country, however, focusing on smart lockdown policy, more than 500 areas were pointed out to implement the smart lockdown where the patients of COVID-19 increases day by day.

While briefing about the provision of health facilities,he said that 1000 ventilators would be reached in the country to facilitate the critical patients of COVID-19 by the end of this month, moreover, 5000 health workers have been trained to face the emergency situation regarding the COVID-19.